Meteorology at Valparaiso University

About the Meteorology Program

The VU Department of Geography and Meteorology offers a comprehensive undergraduate program leading to a Bachelor of Science degree with a major in Meteorology. Enrollment in the meteorology program is approximately 120 students, making it one of the largest in the country. Our graduates attend the nation's most prestigious graduate schools and are employed by various public and private sector firms and broadcast stations throughout the nation. A large number of our students have received NASA summer fellowships, National Science Foundation, American Meteorological Society or university undergraduate and graduate fellowships.

Valparaiso's location offers a wide variety of interesting and challenging weather, from lake-effect snows to severe convective storms. The Department maintains the VU Weather Center, a state-of-the-art laboratory where students gain "hands-on" experience and provide weather information and forecasts for Northwest Indiana. This facility has an excellent array of meteorological equipment, including 20 Sun Thin Client workstations, a 40-foot instrumented tower, UNIDATA McIDAS-X data retrieval and display system, GEMPAK analysis software, an instrumented chase vehicle, as well as portable sensors and computers.

Extracurricular experiences are important components of the meteorology program at VU. Our popular 10-day severe storm field study trips to the Great Plains are integral parts of the educational experience for many meteorology students. The Department has established an excellent relationship with the National Weather Service (NWS) and has placed students in internships at NWS forecast offices throughout the country. Paid co-ops are available on a competitive basis. Internships are also established with a regional educational channel, WGN-TV in Chicago, and other broadcast stations nationwide. Students may also work for the campus radio station, WVUR. These positions provide students with valuable experience as well as opportunities for post-graduate employment. Many students are active members of Northwest Indiana SKYWARN and the Valparaiso University Storm Intercept Team, one of the nation's best equipped chase teams. A regional chapter of the American Meteorological Society/National Weather Association is also located on campus which hosts visits by prominent outside scientists and conferences.

The department moved into a new, state-of-the-art home in spring, 2005. This cutting-edge facility highlights, among many features, an automated radiosonde system and a 1 MW simultaneous dual-polarization Doppler radar. A state-of-the-art weather graphics system and studio are available for those interested in broadcasting careers.

"The teaching style of VU's Meteorology program ensures that students understand the physics of the atmosphere as well as mathematical foundations of meteorology. The result is a student who is fluent in theory, able in forecasting, and well-practiced at leading and participating in discussion about the science. The department fosters an environment of collaboration and close relationship between students and faculty. Valparaiso Meteorology graduates are, in my experience, among the best prepared in the field to excel in the discipline of atmospheric science."

Matt Parker
VU Class of 1996
Assistant Professor, North Carolina State University



ValpoAdditions and corrections for this page may be directed to Teresa Bals-Elsholz
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This page was last updated November 2, 2009




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